Michael Carrick says he has NOT fallen out with Cristiano Ronaldo after leaving him out of his Man United team to play Chelsea and hails his response as ‘perfection’… as he backs him to thrive in Ralf Rangnick’s pressing side
- Cristiano Ronaldo was benched for Manchester United’s 1-1 draw at Chelsea
- Interim boss Michael Carrick played down his decision to drop him for the game
- He said it ‘wasn’t a big decision’ and hailed his response after coming on
- Ralf Rangnick is planning to play a pressing game when he officially takes over
- Carrick has backed the star forward to adapt despite fears he could be sidelined
Manchester United caretaker manager Michael Carrick has denied falling out with Cristiano Ronaldo and backed the Portugal star’s ability to play in a pressing team.
Carrick sprang a surprise by dropping Ronaldo for only his second game in charge since taking over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as United drew at Chelsea on Sunday. Ronaldo came on in the 64th minute but made little impression and hurried down the tunnel at full time after the briefest of handshakes with his manager.
Carrick must decide whether to restore the player to his starting line-up against Arsenal at Old Trafford on Thursday night but praised Ronaldo’s response to being benched.
‘I didn’t see it as a major decision,’ said Carrick. ‘We all got on really well, the game went well to an extent and it wasn’t a drama.
Michael Carrick has denied falling out with Cristiano Ronaldo after benching him on Sunday
‘It seems like it’s a big decision but really, between us and me personally, it wasn’t. You can ask Cristiano, the way he responded was perfection.
‘Around the dressing room he was incredible and supported the players. I went in to do my half-time team talk and he was warming up 10 minutes in advance ready to come on in the second half. A lot can be made of it, spin it in a negative way, but behind the scenes the reality is very different.’
Carrick’s decision fuelled concerns that Ronaldo cannot be trusted to play the high-pressing game favoured by United’s incoming interim boss Ralf Rangnick. But he added: ‘Maybe it’s a myth. He’s played in enough teams over the years being successful to play in a variety of ways and kept scoring goals for every team. I’m sure he will continue to score goals.’
Carrick insisted Rangnick did not influence his team selection or tactics at Chelsea and admitted the two have yet to speak as the German waits for his work permit to be approved.
Carrick backed the Portuguese forward to adapt to new boss Ralf Rangnick’s pressing system
Rangnick turned up at Old Trafford on Wednesday for the first time and was given a tour of the stadium by United’s football director John Murtough.
‘Because of the process and work permit, we haven’t been able to speak,’ said Carrick. ‘We’ve carried on. It’s worked well the last two games and hopefully will in the next one.’
United’s Champions League match against Young Boys will go ahead at Old Trafford next week after the Swiss club was exempted from quarantine rules to travel to the UK.
Former midfielder Carrick enjoyed a successful spell alongside Ronaldo at Old Trafford
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has praised Gabriel’s character after his terrifying robbery ordeal.
Sportsmail revealed Arsenal defender Gabriel fought off a baseball-bat wielding robber who tried to steal his £45,000 Mercedes from his garage.
The shocking attack on the Brazilian, who was with friend Rodrigo Tavares, was captured on CCTV and released by the police.
The incident happened in August with one of the culprits jailed for five years. Arteta said: ‘Gabi showed a lot of character. Credit to the boy. Obviously he was shocked.’
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